A pragmatic guide for educators and administrators
to key challenges faced by students entering
Over the last two decades, much attention has been given to the first-year undergraduate transition. We are now beginning to recognize that first-year graduate students face similar issues as they move from the comfort of their undergraduate years to the more challenging graduate environment. Attrition rates among master's and doctoral students are often alarmingly high. Yet, on many campuses, graduate students are a prized resource, supporting faculty research and the undergraduate instructional mission.
Graduate Students in Transition describes the challenges associated with entry into graduate study and offers guidance on how to support students in negotiating those challenges. The first section presents an overview of graduate education in the U.S. and describes theories to help educators understand the nature of the transition experience. Additional chapters in this section describe the unique needs of master's students, students of color, and international students. The second section focuses on programmatic interventions to help students persist and succeed in graduate school. Throughout, the contributors consider how the programs and services proven to support undergraduate persistence and academic success might be adapted for use with graduate students—from orientations and mentoring structures to transition courses and graduate student centers.
Kenneth A. Tokuno is the associate dean for Graduate Education at the University of Hawai'i at Manoa. He previously served on the advisory board of the National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition.